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US president holds illogical policy in relation to Azerbaijan

US President Barack Obama holds an illogical policy towards partners and allies of the country, in particular in relation to Azerbaijan, senior fellow at the Center for Transatlantic Relations at Johns Hopkins University (US), former senior official in the State Department and National Security Council David Merkel said.

“When the Obama Administration speaks correctly of the importance of the territorial integrity of Ukraine but does not say the same with regard to Azerbaijan it is easy to understand why many see that as a double standard,” he said. “Our policy going forward should be abundantly clear on territorial integrity.”

The diplomat said that the Obama Administrations lack of action to work for a peaceful resolution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict shows a lack of leadership and understanding of the importance of the issue for those displaced, those waiting for the development of the region and the importance of the issue to the stability of the region.

“This coupled with the ill-advised and failed Russia Reset demonstrates how little thought has been put into developing the policy for Eurasia,” he said.

The diplomat said that doing less will only encourage greater Russian adventurism and instability.

“Unfortunately, Barak Obama has never taken the time to understand others interests, opinions or values,” Merkel said. “Unlike his predecessors he has not developed a personal relationship with other world leaders or learned much of their history, customs, values or interests.”

“In foreign policy he is widely thought to be the worst foreign policy president since Jimmy Carter who was in office when our diplomats were held as hostages in Iran and the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan,” he said.

“In the final two years of his presidency, Barak Obama will have the longest period of what is called in Washington a Lame Duck President,” Merkel said. “This means that while he still holds the office no one in Washington is looking to him to set the agenda or provide leadership.”

The diplomat said that the Obama Administration also, has never demonstrated a strategic vision for clearly laying out US interests leaving the world surprised, disappointed or frustrated with American action or inaction.

“President Obama’s word is no longer trusted,” he said. “From drawing a red line on Syrian chemical weapons and not following through to the shifting sand of Iranian negotiations with out keeping Congress and our valuable allies informed leaders can not count on an assurance from the Obama Administration.”

The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.

The two countries signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, Russia, France and the US are currently holding peace negotiations.

Armenia has not yet implemented the UN Security Council’s four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.



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